A guest blog from my Friend Jordan. Check out his blog for some great posts on faith and inspiration.
What inspires me?
It seems to me that inspiration is a word we rarely think about.
In school, students are constantly wondering: what do I want to do with my life? So DOing is the focus.
In the work place, we often consider: what motivates me to do my work? So REASONS are the focus.
In relationships, we frequently ask ourselves where is this friendship, dating relationship, or marriage heading? So the FUTURE is the focus.
But rarely do we stop and consider: what inspires me?… Today.
To be inspired is to be filled with the urge to do something… not just anything… something creative. Something… Imaginative. Powerful. Passionate. Real. Important.
Sure… I know that we al have numerous great reasons for doing everything we do, and maybe we do a lot of work in an effort to create a great future for ourselves.
But what if when we get to that future we realize what we spent so much time doing… did not positively impact the people around us?
Around noon I sometimes walk through coffee shops and restaurants, and I see a lot of working professionals at lunch/taking-a-break-from-doing-work. When I see them I always find myself wondering:
Why do they do what they do?
I wonder if they enjoy what they do everyday?
More importantly: Do they believe that they are making a difference in the lives of the people around them while they are doing their work?
Many friends of mine express frustration with their jobs, lives, and wonder if they are even making a difference at all. Most of the time they are not aware of their own influence. Or they are selling themselves short.
But sometimes… sometimes… their wonderings are correct. They are, in fact, not making a difference in the lives of the people around them. I’ve always wondered why?
Maybe we do not make an important impact in the lives of the people around us because we never ask ourselves:
What inspires me?
I’m not saying that if you do not feel inspired in your workplace. Or if you do not think your job is making a difference. You should quit. No not at all.
Instead, I’m just wondering…. I’m wondering what would happen if we wondered about our inspiration.
What if we stopped focusing on doing?
What if we stopped constantly studying our reasons behind our work?
What if we stopped trying to live in our future?
And what if… we focus on just being today?
Not being busy. Not being contemplative. Not even being still.
Suddenly, you will emerge as an inspired individual.
It seems to me that the world needs more inspired individuals. Your workplace needs more inspired employees. We don’t need people to do crazy things like quit their jobs, transfer Universities, or get straight A’s in pre-school in order to make a difference.
We just need people to be inspired right where they are… simply because that is where we are too. Humanity: you, I, us, we are… there… we are all around you. And we desperately need you to live among us… inspired.
I said I ask myself this question everyday. Here is one response from the past few weeks.
Saturday February 13:
My girlfriend and I were at Disneyland and another young couple overheard my conversation with Chrissy as we talked about how she had never ridden the Indian Jones ride. They heard us talking and then saw us both cringe at the waiting time sign that said “90 minutes.”
Then…for no reason at all, they just gave us their fast passes for the ride. They said… we’ve ridden it before and since she’s never been on it we want you guys to have them.” And just like that… they gave away their tickets to walk right on the ride so we did not have to wait in the line. As I walked onto Indian Jones with a smile of disbelief I was inspired to be more giving.
Later that week I was out at a mall. I had received a small Ms. Fields cookie for free after buying three other larger cookies. As I ate my cookie, I saw a janitor cleaning up trash that some teenagers had left on the ground. When I saw her… and looked at my smaller free cookie I thought of those fast passes I had received for free.
As she picked up the trash I said, “Excuse me.”
She came over to me and said, “Do you have some trash.”
I said, “I got this cookie for free just for buying three other ones, and when I saw you picking up after those rude teenagers I decided I’d give it to you just to say thanks for what you do. I hope you have a great day.”
She left with a very similar smile of disbelief.
We do not need you to climb the corporate ladder at the workplace. We don’t need amazing college graduates. We don’t need straight A-high-school-students.
We need you to be inspired right where you are.
Photo taken from: http://z.about.com